Reverend Dr. Diana L. Swoope is an ordained minister with the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana. She began her tenure on the staff of the Arlington Church of God in Akron, Ohio in 1981. In 2009, Reverend Swoope was elevated to the office of Senior Pastor of the church, and is the only female to serve in that capacity since the church was established in 1917.
Reverend Swoope earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Biology, Chemistry) from Memphis State University, a Master of Religious Education from Anderson School of Theology, a Doctor of Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary. Additionally, she holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. Dr. Swoope is also an alumnus of Leadership Akron Class VI.
She has been the founder or impetus behind the creation of several programs for her church and the community. She was instrumental in implementing the E.V.E. (Education Value and Esteem) program, a rites of passage course for young ladies ages 9 to 16. She founded the Summer Educational Employment Program, which for many years, helped hundreds of youth to secure summer employment in Akron area businesses.
Dr. Swoope led her church in establishing the Arlington Christian Academy, which is a chartered elementary school that enrolls students from Kindergarten through the Eighth Grade. She served as Principal for more than twenty years. Students have excelled in Honors and Advanced Placement classes in the High Schools of Akron, with 98% going on to college.
Pastor Swoope is the first female elected as president of the National Inspirational Youth Convention of the Church of God, which began in 1938. During her tenure the membership of the Convention was well over 5,000 people. There has been only one other female elected since. She has been a frequent speaker for conventions, revivals, and seminars across the USA, Canada, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bermuda, Australia and South Africa. She is also the author of Jesus Our Source(Warner Press Publications, 1997)and Chosen and Highly Favored: A Woman’s Sacred Call To Holiness (Beacon Hill Press, 2001), and a contributing author to The Hunger of Your Heart (Partnership Press, 1998) and The First Steps to Ministry (Warner Press, 2001).
Pastor Swoope has served in many offices in the Church of God including General Secretary of the National Association of the Church of God, Chair of the Business Committee for Church of God Ministries and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana. Reverend Swoope has also served on the several boards or committees in the greater Akron community: The United Way, YWCA, East Akron Community House, the Mayor’s Charter Review Commission, the Congressional Review Committee for West Pointe Academy, Project Learn, Habitat for Humanity, the Ohio Ethics Commission, Love Akron and currently serves on the Community Health Committee for the Akron General Medical Center.
The many awards she has received include: The YWCA Black Woman of Excellence Award; the Akron Frontiers Club Youth Service Award; the Harold K. Stubbs Award in Religion; National Council of Negro Women Recognition Award; the Akron-Summit Community Action Agency Community Service Award; the Anderson School of Theology Distinguished Alumni Award; and the YWCA’s 100 Most Influential Women in Summit County. She recently was named by the Urban League as one of the Magnificent Seven most powerful women in Akron.
She and her husband Lawrence live in Copley, Ohio. They have three children Alecia, Allen (Imani) and Andreco and four grandchildren, Nyemah , Sophia, and twins, Jeremiah and Micah.